This article, Personal Data Bared in LexisNexis breach, Oregonlive.com (3/10/05) reports that intruders managed to steal customer passwords and access personal information from LexisNexis’ Accurint database. Lexis acquired Seisent, parent company of Accurint, (a darling of solo practitioners given its low cost capability of tracking people and assets), in August 2004 – and at that time, I worried whether the acquisition, to the tune of $775 million, might force Lexis to increase Accurint’s prices to recover its purchase price.
Prior to the Lexis acquisition, I don’t recall ever reading about hacking into Accurint data bases. The article notes that the Lexis incident is part of a recent trend whereby other sites with sensitive customer information have been accessed as well. So I can’t help but wonder whether Accurint would have stayed more secure had it remained independent – or if this type of incident is simply bad luck that can happen to anyone – and is happening more frequently now.